Bemidji State University is the winner of the Minnesota Campus Energy Challenge, a competition amongst seven higher education institutions in the state to see which could see the largest reduction of energy consumption during the month of February.
BSU competed against Carleton College, the College of St. Benedict, Gustavus Adolphus College, Macalester College, St. John's University, St. Olaf College and Winona State University to see which school could reduce its total February 2009 energy usage the most, as compared to usage during February 2008.
BSU captured the overall title with a 12-percent reduction in overall energy use, followed by Winona State at a 7-percent reduction.
Gustavus Adolphus and St. Benedict tied for third with a 6-percent total reduction.
Reductions in heating and electricity were also tracked as part of the contest.
BSU won the heating reduction category with an 11-percent reduction, while Gustavus Adolphus and Winona State tied for second with an 8-percent reduction. St. John's was fourth, having used the same amount of energy for heating as it did in 2008.
St. Benedict won the electricity-reduction competition with a 16-percent reduction, while BSU was second with a 13-percent reduction. St. Olaf was third with a 7-percent reduction; Winona State was fourth with a 6-percent reduction.
BSU Sustainability Coordinator Erika Bailey-Johnson said factors impacting heat and electricity usage on campus include an increased knowledge of students and faculty on ways to reduce energy and the addition of a new, more energy-efficient boiler.
The challenge was sponsored by Transcampus Energy Action Movement Minnesota, a network of environmental youth organizations in Minnesota with hundreds of engaged students across the state.